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Adrian Cave obituary

The architectural career of my friend Adrian Cave, who has died of cancer aged 76, exemplifies the way disability issues have moved to the foreground of our culture. At an age when others consider retiring, Adrian embraced the concept of inclusive design and pioneered the transformation of disabled access to public buildings, so that it became integral to the creative vision rather than an add-on.

Adrian was the UK's first registered access consultant. In the past 10 years, he worked with architects including Norman Foster and Herzog & de Meuron and advised at the formative stages of projects such as Crossrail, the Olympic village, Tate Modern and the revamp of the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank in London. His mantra was "access with elegance". At Christopher Wren's Royal hospital, in Chelsea, west London, he concealed a lift behind 18th-century panelling to aid those with difficulties climbing the staircase, satisfying English Heritage in the process.

Adrian worked as a Samaritan and with Emmaus House on behalf of the homeless. He was made OBE for his dogged work in the transformation of a defunct cinema near his home into Ealing Community Resource Centre.

He was born in Great Bromley, Essex, and attended Ampleforth college, North Yorkshire. He adored adventures, such as navigating the canals with his grandchildren and walking with friends in Italy or Spain. He is survived by his wife, Felicity, whom he married in 1964; his son, Ben, and daughter, Zoe; and five grandchildren. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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